Spotlight on Lynda Bryer
Everytime a new member joins our team of practitioners here at The Wellbeing Centre, we pose them a series of questions to help us – and you – get to know them better. Please join us in welcoming Human Givens therapist, Lynda Bryer, to our team.
Hi Lynda, could you start by telling us a bit more about yourself & how you became interested in Human Givens?
As a child growing up in a hot sunny country at times the heat was relentless. I always loved exploring how to find the shortest route home to comfort and shelter.
12 years ago as an OT working in mental health, I came across the Human Givens approach. This incorporated all the up to date evidence-based techniques from a range of different therapies, and informed by many different fields, all under one umbrella. I knew that I had found all I needed to be a really effective therapist for anyone suffering mental distress in its many forms.
Further honing my skills through Brief Solution Therapy and Hypnotherapy, I feel I am able to guide others who want to take a swift path forward to comfort and shelter.
What was your first experience of complementary therapy?
Most powerful experience of therapy was being cured of PTSD in 40 minutes.
I had been involved in a head-on collision in a car 32 years ago. Since then I have been a terrified passenger in a car, feeling panic and at times nausea especially when the roads were wet and dark.
During my training as a Hypnotherapist the tutor asked if anyone suffered with Trauma and I quickly raised my hand.
In 40 minutes she used a gentle but effective technique which has resulted in me being a “normal” passenger, free of those extreme anxious feelings. Amazed and much relieved.
What made you decide to become a therapist yourself?
When working as a mental health Occupational Therapist, I was inspired by a women’s forensic unit. This was set up based on the Human Givens approach. I could see the residents who had been coping with life through self harm and addiction behaviours starting to thrive.
In 2006 I then pursued my ambition to be a HG therapist. The highly scientific nature of the training deeply developed my understanding of the brain as well as the mind/body connection and the innate power for change we all have. It also made me realise that the level of severe distress that I have seen people in is absolutely preventable with the right help.
As a qualified HG therapist, I could really help people with addiction, self harm, trauma, weight, anxiety or depression to move on with their lives. This has lead to doing various NHS work, and working privately in East Sussex and now Berkshire.
What are your top 3 tips for wellbeing?
- You cannot beat that nice deep breath for calming. The trick is to breath out longer than you breath in, as this stimulates the parasympathetic system (relaxation). Once the body feels calm, the mind follows suit, and then you can think clearer.
- Keep your blood sugars stable as rollercoaster blood sugars play havoc with your energy levels and mood. Also has the bonus of weight loss. Check out The Food Doctor-Ian Marber for great advise.
- Get out for a walk in nature whatever the season! On so many levels this raises all your happy chemicals. Did you know trees exude a chemical we cannot smell which calms us down? Amazing.
Who has been the biggest inspiration for you in your wellbeing journey?
I have been so lucky to have been taught by the founders of the Human Givens approach, Joe Griffin and Ivan Tyrell and the most amazing Hypnotherapist Jill Wootton who really is wonder woman.#
But my goodness if you want to be educated and astounded about how much your mind affects your body, including how people have healed themselves watch Bruce Lipton on YouTube, enlightening watching.
TED talks, Eleanor Longden regarding how she got herself through psychosis, truly amazing and in line with human givens research.
Buddhist monk Thich Knat Hanh’s writings are always food for the soul.
What issues have you had most success in helping your clients with?
I have had great success working with people with addictions, as I work from the premise that addictive behaviour is an adopted way of coping, contrary to popular belief that addicts have a biological condition and therefore are lumbered with this for life. Why is it then that thousands of American troops who used heroin in the Vietnam war, 90% stopped on returning home? It was the change in environment, they could now get their needs met (researched by Bruce Alexander 1981).
Working from this premise has not only helped people with common addictions such as smoking, gambling and drugs, but behaviours that can be seen as “addictive” in some way such as eating disorders, OCD and self harm and eating too much.
We can of course get addicted to anything that instantly changes our mood when we believe it will bring us some relief or pleasure.
Can you share an example of a case study with amazing results?
I work for an organisation called The Red Poppy Company who help people suffering with trauma, such as those in the armed forces, ambulance workers and so on.
A paramedic I worked with had been in the service many years but had some life stressors outside of work. At the same time he had to deal with someone who died in his care, which tipped him over into a highly anxious state. He was now “seeing” the lady who died visiting him in his bedroom, was afraid to go out socially, felt very vulnerable and highly sensitive, had become overly worried about his children.
Understandably, he had been off work for 9 months.
Within a few sessions he was free of these visions and through teaching him how to calm quickly, and using a gentle technique to deal with the trauma, he was able to start his return to work and started to socialise again.
This of course had a beneficial ripple out effect to his family.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
During my work in the NHS in many different services such as helping develop forensic services for women, and setting up a day hospital for older people, I had a special interest in helping introduce Mindfulness Meditation.
I have seen and experienced first hand how effective this is for shifting anxious and depressed mental states and for dealing with physical pain.
Personally I practice Buddhist meditation as this promotes self kindness and kindness to others, but mindfulness meditation can be non spiritual.
Mindfulness Meditation is a great tool to quieten the noisy and at times unhelpful chatter we have in our heads, a practice to find that inner calm which we all innately have, but sometimes it takes some practice to rediscover.
I use this quite often as an additional tool to help my clients. I feel that when you are able to calm and rest your mind, even if just for a moment, you are able to heal. And in the space that is formed to allow new, more helpful behaviours to take root.
What’s the best way to contact you for more information and to book a treatment with you?
I offer a free 15 minute consultation by phone. We can have a chat to see if I can help you, if you’d like to work with me, or if necessary I can advise you on other options.
To book, please find a suitable time via my online calendar:
Alternatively you can have help booking via the Reception Team here at The Wellbeing Centre on 01635 552874. The Reception is available to help with telephone and drop-in enquiries weekdays 9:30am – 5:30pm and on Saturday mornings.